By Frank Gruber
February 23 -- A few weeks ago in a column, I said that I would send each applicant for Herb Katz’s seat on the City Council a copy of the "Matrix" that I published before the 2008 election listing how the council members had voted on the major issues that had come before them during the previous two years, and that I would ask the applicants to return the matrices marked to show how they would have voted.
Last week I emailed a copy of the Matrix to each applicant who had listed an email address on the application. I received twelve back, and I have listed the responses below in alphabetical order (in two matrices).
Unfortunately, neither of the two applicants generally considered to be the most likely choice of a majority on the council -- the co-chairs of Santa Monicans for Renters, Patricia Hoffman and Gleam Davis -- replied. Ms. Hoffman told me in a conversation last week that she thought the issues were too complicated to respond to with yes or no answers, and Ms. Davis sent me an email making the same point; in her words, "I am not sure that a simple yes or no on the matrix is very meaningful. doesn’t allow that."
Each of the council members who voted on the listed issues had the opportunity to explain his or her vote. The matrix
Ms. Davis also made another comment, which was also in substance made by applicant Terry O’Day (who nonetheless did send back a matrix), to the point that had the applicant been on the dais, the applicant would have had the opportunity to influence the motion or whatever was being voted on. This is a fair point, but nonetheless I believe it’s illuminating to see how applicants for the seats situate themselves in the context of the votes that were taken.
I want to emphasize that an applicant’s responses to the Matrix, like past results in a financial prospectus, do not predict future results. Circumstances may change. The Matrix only asks what an applicant would have done at the moment.
And thus below are two iterations of the Matrix, listing the responses of the applicants in alphabetical order. If nothing else, this is a snapshot of how 12 civic minded members of the community view the issues that were of the day for the years 2006-08.